Over the last few years, California’s elected officials have finally gotten serious about fixing the housing shortage that is eroding the quality of life here. Lawmakers have passed bills to streamline the development of housing in urban areas and to make it harder for cities to block much-needed housing construction. Voters have approved billions of dollars in new spending to subsidize affordable homes.
And there are more bills pending in Sacramento to boost the supply of housing, which is absolutely essential after many years during which the state failed to build enough units to keep up with population growth.
But the focus on increasing housing supply has overshadowed other reforms designed to help struggling Californians now. Among other things, it is increasingly clear that lawmakers can’t address the real-time pain and upheaval caused by the state’s housing crisis without strengthening tenant protections.